Straight Guys Get Trained in Acting Straight

Discussion on what it means to be straight acting, whether it's good, bad or indifferent.

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Straight Acting Outside the USA

Postby Learning » Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:34 pm

Your comments have me really curious about how Europe differs in attitudes about "straight acting" style in men. "Straight acting" involves seeming "not gay" so showing affection for other guys sounds like a difference between Europe and the USA. How do Europeans differ in attitudes about men exercising power and acting like strong authority figures? How much concern do European men have about seeming to be different from women?

Straight men who study the courses in acting like an alpha male are focused on what they think they have to do to fit in, to influence others, and to have sexual relationships. Could the straight guys get what they want without the displays of power?
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Re: Straight Guys Get Trained in Acting Straight

Postby nimby » Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:52 am

European men are much more open with their emotions and their physical contact. A pat on the back, a hug and even kisses are quite the norm, and aren't even questioned as a lack of masculinity. Seeming "not gay" is less important cause their ideals of masculinity differ from Americans in that, as you said, the alpha- male notion presides in the West, not as much in Europe.

As Europeans place much more importance on family values and relationships, the alpha-male is, more likely than not, the alpha-female, especially if Grandma is still around. Men may rule the business world, but women rule the roost. Most men don't strive to differ from women, but rather they emulate them and place them on a pedestal.

Now I'm not a fan of these straight acting courses because, "if one has to act grown up, it's a sure sign that they're not". And this alpha male acting stuff does nothing but cause division in society, in both the straight and gay communities, between all genders. And division is not something this world needs right now. Could straight guys get what they want without displays of power? I don't know, I guess it depends on what it is they want. Many don't strive to acquire material wealth like here in the west. Less value is placed in possessions and more on personal relationships. And for us, the main goal is not how much you have, but how to enjoy what you do have.

But these are just my opinions, so I hope not to offend anyone. :)
"Why do we have asteroids in the hemisphere and hemmorroids in the a$$ ? "
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Attitudes to "Straight Acting" Power Displays

Postby Learning » Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:17 am

Wow, Nimby, you've tied "straight acting" power displays to family, economics, culture, and social cohesion. I am left to wonder what led to differences in attitudes toward "straight acting" style.

Europe has a lot of unfortunate history with people who wanted to dominate others and that probably creates some skepticism about peacocks who show their power. Europe currently has more evenly distributed wealth and a more nurturing economic situation. The future could get more complicated because Europe has many immigrants with Muslim backgrounds who welcome affection between men but also segregate themselves from women and who are not necessarily comfortable with gay people. How do European guys make themselves attractive to women?

I'm not sure how America developed its tough guy tradition. Some parts of America's "straight acting" styles go back even to the 18th century. For example, the norm of men taking up space by keeping arms and elbows away from the body while women hold elbows close shows up in choice of musical instruments. Instruments such as flute and violin were not acceptable for women in colonial America because playing flute or violin requires having elbows stick out and take up space. Women in 19th century America were discouraged from speaking in public, and even now many women soften their voices more than men do. Sometimes Americans obnoxiously tell women to "keep your knees together" for sexual reasons while men rarely keep knees together unless injured. Those are things Americans are used to, and it's doubtful that American women would find a guy sexy if he keeps his elbows in, knees together, and voice soft.

Nonverbal style issues reflect a person's position in society, underlying feelings, and the practical issues facing that person.
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Satire of "Straight Acting" Power Displays

Postby Learning » Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:30 am

Some of you had concerns about the trainers who show straight guys how to do "straight-acting" power displays. You might enjoy these comedy skits that satirizes "straight acting" trainers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Jbacbjokx8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sneLqIDo ... re=related

Also, this week "The Ugly Truth" comes to theaters. "The Ugly Truth" is a comedy about seduction training for women:

http://www.thetruthisntpretty.com/
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Youtube Charm Schools

Postby Learning » Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:31 am

Youtube has a suprising number of guys eager to show others how to act to charm people for dating. This particular video focuses on posture, eye contact, smiling, and touch. Rather than using the word "straight acting," the person in the video describes good posture as something an "alpha male" does. Posture, eye contact, smile, and touch all reflect a person's underlying feelings and external social position. It would be difficult for someone who doesn't feel happy and relaxed to assertively display power, but that doesn't mean that gay people or women couldn't convey confidence too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j00uQqwVJ2s
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Woman Coaches Guys on Being Studs

Postby Learning » Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:12 pm

Tania has advice for men on showing their "straight acting" style. Tania mentions eye contact, relaxed hands, low voice, steady lack of hesitation, and an attitude of being something great. All of Tania's recommendations create nonverbal displays of power. Tania is especially good looking. If you watch the video, you'll understand the pressure that straight guys are under to show off their "straight acting" style.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiP1VL05 ... re=related
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Re: Straight Guys Get Trained in Acting Straight

Postby RevJohn » Sat Aug 01, 2009 1:40 am

I, too, think you nailed it, Nimby.

"Now I'm not a fan of these straight acting courses because, "if one has to act grown up, it's a sure sign that they're not". "

Men have always been trained to believe that there are ever better ways to be bigger, badder and better. Being who you are is supposedly no longer an option.

My opinion is to let them train. Help recruit them. With enough type "A" wannabees out there they will eventually compete themselves out of existence.
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Practical and Ethical Issues

Postby Learning » Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:20 am

RevJohn wrote:
Men have always been trained to believe that there are ever better ways to be bigger, badder and better. Being who you are is supposedly no longer an option.

My opinion is to let them train. Help recruit them. With enough type "A" wannabees out there they will eventually compete themselves out of existence.


Rev. John, it looks like you see a lot of issues in courses for straight guys wanting to act more butch. Issues seem to include whether people can learn new ways, whether guys have a more or less permanent "self," whether someone's way of acting should get approval, whether competition is valuable, whether certain types of guys should continue to exist. Could you explain more?
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Confidence, Assertiveness

Postby Learning » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:50 pm

Rev. John, sometimes displaying or exercising power is called "confidence" and "assertiveness." Confidence and assertiveness training may also be aimed at women. These include tips on managing thoughts and feelings, posture, voice, eye contact, gestures, facial expression, and touch. Does the idea of confidence and assertiveness training seem more acceptable than "alpha male" courses?

http://www.videojug.com/film/how-can-i- ... -confident
http://www.videojug.com/interview/nonve ... tiveness-2
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Relaxed, Slow, Deliberate

Postby Learning » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:20 am

I'm still curious about what "straight acting" means to some of you.

The Internet is mushrooming with guys eager to teach others how to act like studs. The guy in this video focuses on being relaxed and in the moment. He recommends slow walking with deliberate movement and good posture. He also recommends slow speech with deep breathing and vocal variety.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYcWDVj8uJE
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"Body Language Makeover"

Postby Learning » Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:12 pm

Dr. Lillian Glass gives what she calls a "body language makeover" to help people become aware of what they are showing through their movement. Glass's program includes both men and women who want to show their best selves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wpTrkOOsHw&feature=sub
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Straight Acting: Posture, Hands, and Face

Postby Learning » Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:13 pm

Some things make someone seem more "straight acting" without even saying a word. This video discusses relaxed posture, calm hands, and pleasant facial expression.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_fBCeOJ ... =quicklist
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Being "straight acting"

Postby J » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:11 am

I don't actually make a conscious effort to "act straight". I'm just who I am. And that includes a (moderately) deep voice, no lisp, no waving of the hands while I talk, not crossing my legs (couldn't if I wanted to. Since I never did, I think it would be uncomfortable), not "advertising" myself if you know what I mean, basically just doing what works for me and always has. When I accepted the fact that I liked other guys, I never tried to change myself or "act more gay" to fit in. I think there are guys who do that, but to each his(/her counting lesbians) own. I am, however, painfully shy, I get nervous easily, have mood swings from time to time, am not very patient in some situations, complain vocally about certain things, and to some people, those are considered "gay" traits. I'm just me, and that's all there is to say about it. Guys who are more, well, "gay acting", or whatever, I don't have a problem with them. It's a big world with 6 (7?) billion people. And we're all different somehow.
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Peace of Mind

Postby Learning » Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:24 pm

J wrote:I don't actually make a conscious effort to "act straight". I'm just who I am. And that includes a (moderately) deep voice, no lisp, no waving of the hands while I talk, not crossing my legs (couldn't if I wanted to. Since I never did, I think it would be uncomfortable), not "advertising" myself if you know what I mean, basically just doing what works for me and always has. When I accepted the fact that I liked other guys, I never tried to change myself or "act more gay" to fit in. I think there are guys who do that, but to each his(/her counting lesbians) own. I am, however, painfully shy, I get nervous easily, have mood swings from time to time, am not very patient in some situations, complain vocally about certain things, and to some people, those are considered "gay" traits. I'm just me, and that's all there is to say about it. Guys who are more, well, "gay acting", or whatever, I don't have a problem with them. It's a big world with 6 (7?) billion people. And we're all different somehow.


I admire your comfort, authenticity and openness, J. You've found some ways to keep your peace of mind and to be honest about when you're not as comfortable.
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Straight Acting Confidence Taught in Sports

Postby Learning » Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:58 pm

Dr. Patrick Cohn coaches athletes in building confidence. Cohn lists topics with titles like "Fearless," "Relaxed," "Composed," and "Confident." Cohn seems to be teaching communication style not just sports.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIIqxYJX ... -fresh+div
http://www.peaksports.com/The_Confident_Athlete.php
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"Nice-Guy Syndrome"

Postby Learning » Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:25 am

New York Dating Coach Jessica Claire talks about curing "nice-guy syndrome," the importance of body language, and showing confidence:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHSdqzsk ... re=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpfWbn1O ... =rec-HM-r2
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Re: Straight Acting Outside the USA

Postby qwertz » Sat Dec 05, 2009 4:19 am

Learning wrote:Your comments have me really curious about how Europe differs in attitudes about "straight acting" style in men. "Straight acting" involves seeming "not gay" so showing affection for other guys sounds like a difference between Europe and the USA. How do Europeans differ in attitudes about men exercising power and acting like strong authority figures? How much concern do European men have about seeming to be different from women?

Straight men who study the courses in acting like an alpha male are focused on what they think they have to do to fit in, to influence others, and to have sexual relationships. Could the straight guys get what they want without the displays of power?


Quite difficult to point out the exact difference, but you recognise it when you see it. For instance at an oil conference (big macho event - only men - where you have to get all your machismo out as if you would let hang your dick out of your fly all the time) we were eating at a table (a Dutch guy, a Belgian, an Italian, a Fin and 2 Americans). At a certain point the Dutch guy incidently starts talking about Philippe Starck-chairs he has seen in a window shop in the hotel. We start talking about design. At least a little bit among the European guys. You could feel the two American guys get abacked and think: "All faggots here".
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Informal Training in Straight Acting

Postby Learning » Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:04 pm

qwertz wrote:Quite difficult to point out the exact difference, but you recognise it when you see it. For instance at an oil conference (big macho event - only men - where you have to get all your machismo out as if you would let hang your dick out of your fly all the time) we were eating at a table (a Dutch guy, a Belgian, an Italian, a Fin and 2 Americans). At a certain point the Dutch guy incidently starts talking about Philippe Starck-chairs he has seen in a window shop in the hotel. We start talking about design. At least a little bit among the European guys. You could feel the two American guys get abacked and think: "All faggots here".


Good points, Qwertz. Guys get pushed to act certain ways in informal, social situations too.
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Re: Straight Guys Get Trained in Acting Straight

Postby qwertz » Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:32 am

I did read the following link and I wanted to become the worst sissy ever. LMAO

http://ezinearticles.com/?Alpha-Male-Bo ... id=3278417
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Re: Straight Guys Get Trained in Acting Straight

Postby Learning » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:03 am

qwertz wrote:I did read the following link and I wanted to become the worst sissy ever. LMAO

http://ezinearticles.com/?Alpha-Male-Bo ... id=3278417



Ha. If you follow the link to his website, you'll feel even more strongly. Both hit really hard on displays of power and virility. The funniest part comes in the set of affirmations that are supposed to turn you into someone really manly; the affirmation says, "Looking at men’s pics allows me to absorb their masculinity." LOL!

http://moremasculine.blogspot.com/

Still, getting beyond wanting to seem like an alpha male isn't always easy. The creator of this video suggests that people are indoctrinated from childhood and that male role models showing power are even in Disney movies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CWMCt35oFY
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Power and Authority

Postby Learning » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:50 am

Some trainers use the words power and authority when talking about how to show "straight acting" dominance.

Conor Neill recommends standing tall, spreading out, and using a full voice.

http://www.eonetwork.org/KNOWLEDGEBASE/ ... erful.aspx

Another author explains that to show authority a person should "look people in the eye. Thirdly, take up more space. Spread your legs, lean, and have movement in your gestures. A powerful President doesn’t look like he is constricted to a cage. . . Lastly, have a confident posture. Lift your chest up and this will bring your neck, back, and head perfectly into place. . .Using the advice given in this principle to increase your influential authority will make others comply with your requests and have people liking you more."

http://www.earthlingcommunication.com/b ... hority.php

The authors who talk about power and authority intend their advice for both men and women. Still, they give a lot of the same advice as the trainers who talk about being a "confident alpha male." They're using different words to talk about displaying dominance. That "straight acting" dominance is something that a person could show whether gay or straight, male or female.
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Self-esteem and Power

Postby Learning » Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:14 am

Erik Creed claims that people who think highly of themselves tend to get their way because they move in ways to make themselves seem dominant which intimidates others and makes others easy to influence. Creed's advice raises many practical and ethical issues about "straight acting" style.

http://www.articlesbase.com/dating-arti ... 30797.html
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Leadership

Postby Learning » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:25 am

Image consultant Claudia Raab describes body language that shows leadership, authority, and confidence. Raab includes upright posture, spreading out, eye contact, and smile. Raab's advice is aimed at anyone wanting more social connection and influence and includes advice for people who choose to make changes.

http://www.raabconsulting.com/raab-a-ra ... sture.html
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Relaxed Style in Job Interviews

Postby Learning » Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:01 am

The demand for people who seem to be at ease even shows up in training for job interviews. Here Greg Hartley advises careful use of body language and cautions against squirming and fidgeting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckHT_omM_R4
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Re: Straight Guys Get Trained in Acting Straight

Postby HunterAndCamper » Mon May 17, 2010 9:44 pm

Hey guys, been ages since I posted here. The board is better than ever!

This whole thing is kind of interesting. Ya know, like many of us I often felt inadequate growing up -- and maybe a bit femme...

But ya know, sometimes you have experiences in life that change your mind.

First I joined a gun club and took up huntin (note the lack of a 'g' here. It never is pronounced with an 'ing' on the end). Why? It wasn't a desire to be straight acting - it was something I wanted to do. But when you start to pal around with a bunch of he men you AND you start getting a little bit of acceptance (playing poker helps, drinking bad beer helps, and smoking may help.)

Then i took up law enforcement. That helped too. You stop giving a sh** about what others think about you when you put on that uniform and take the risk of getting shot every shift.

It is no surprise to me that straight men are taking...straight acting...lessons. So much of what is considered 'masculine' behavior is simply confidence. That's why feminists were called 'ball busting bitches.' (Okay a lot of them ARE. Please avoid anywhere in California, Massachusetts, parts of the DC metro area, etc. Me? I live in a red state in flyover country and like it that way).

Once you get inner confidence you stop giving a sh*t. And THAT, my friends, is the biggest 'straight acting' thing of all.

Hell I routinely have guys not ever believe that I like m-m sex. The biggest annoyance are the ones who think I'm gonna bash 'em.

It's hard to get there tho. I'm still working on it fully - otoh I can't bring myself to give a sh*t all that much so maybe I'm further than I think LOL.

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